Police Grant Report

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:41 pm on 5th February 2019.

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Photo of Sajid Javid Sajid Javid The Secretary of State for the Home Department 1:41 pm, 5th February 2019

I am going to make progress, but I will give way later on.

I want to be clear with the House on how this increase of almost £1 billion breaks down. Government grants to PCCs will rise by £161 million, which will protect their grant funding in real terms. This package includes an additional £12 million for the Met, to recognise the extra costs and challenges of policing in London. We will allocate more than £153 million to help forces manage increases in pensions costs. We are investing £90 million in much-needed capabilities to combat serious and organised crime at national, regional and local levels. Funding for counter-terrorism policing will increase by £59 million next year, to £816 million—that is £160 million more than we planned at the last spending review. We will support forces through a continued investment of £175 million in the police transformation fund and £495 million to replace and upgrade critical police technology infrastructure.

We are giving PCCs the flexibility they need to use their precept to raise more public money where it is needed most. We have listened to requests from PCCs and empowered them to increase the amount they can raise through council tax precepts. This will allow them to ask for an additional £2 a month per household without the need for a local referendum. The extra cost to a typical household will be up to £24 a year. We know that money is tight, and we did not take this decision lightly. The decision to use this flexibility is up to locally elected PCCs—they must make the case to their electorates. Providing this additional flexibility will allow them to raise up to £509 million in total. Many PCCs have welcomed the funding settlement we set out in December.

Almost all PCCs in England have chosen to use this new council tax flexibility in full, and local people have shown their support. For example, 6,500 people responded to the PCC’s precept consultation in Hampshire, with 76% indicating that they support the proposed increase. In Suffolk, nearly 70% voted for the full £24 rise. PCCs have been explaining what they want to use this extra funding for, and I am delighted that many of them plan to use it to strengthen frontline policing. They are consulting on plans to use the money to recruit more than 2,800 extra officers, potentially leading to the biggest annual increase in numbers for more than 10 years. If all PCCs use their full precept next year, overall police funding will have increased by £2 billion in just four years.